Even as the issue of regularisation of unauthorised structures is pending with the court, the expert committee report on carrying capacity of Shimla will be submitted before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 7.
It was during the last court hearing on May 27 that one-week additional time was sought by the Department of Environment to submit the report. The eight-member expert committee, headed by Shashi Shekhar, will hold its last meeting on May 2 in New Delhi to finalise the report which is almost nearing completion.
“The report is in final stages of completion and we will submit it before the Green Bench before May 7,” confirmed Tarun Kapoor, Additional Chief Secretary, Forest and Environment. He added that the necessary action with regard to new construction activity in Shimla and 17 green belts would be taken.
“The stance that the NGT takes after receiving the recommendations of the expert committee report will determine the decision that the Himachal High Court will take with regard to regularisation of unauthorised structures in the state,” said an official. He admitted that seeing Shimla turn into a concrete jungle, the NGT is likely to issue certain guidelines to the government.
It was on May 30, 2015, that the NGT had restrained the Shimla Municipal Corporation and the state government from raising or permitting any construction in the 17 green belts of the town notified on December 7, 2000.
The NGT had directed the authorities to get a study of the carrying capacity of Shimla done to assess the impact of further density of sewerage system, water supply, collection and disposal of municipal solid waste, transportation and environment ecology. The NGT had then entrusted the task to an expert committee.
It is reliably learnt that the experts from various fields have expressed serious concern over the manner in which construction are being undertaken in the capital without bothering much about the structural stability or the norms.
It is likely that they will make recommendations about disallowing constructions on very steep slopes. They have expressed serious doubts about the quality of construction which in case of a tremor could spell doom for the town.
The experts have also expressed concern over the fact that since Shimla falls in Seismic Zone IV, the need for having structurally stable structures was all the more dire.
“The increased seismic activity in areas falling within Zone IV has heightened the threat from a tremor of slightly more intensity in areas like Shimla,” point out experts.
Source : TNS